RAF RN Aircraft Recognition cards set of 3
De Havilland Venom Fighter Bomber Mk1 (1-Ghost 2) set of 3
Frame them, keep them or buy a few packs and play the guessing game (see if you are expert level: Master).
Aircraft recognition is a visual skill taught to military personnel and civilian auxiliaries since the introduction of military aircraft in World War I. It is important for air defense and military intelligence gathering.
Aircraft recognition generally depends on learning the external appearance of the aircraft, both friendly and hostile, most likely to be encountered. Techniques used to teach this information have included scale models, printed silhouette charts, slide projectors, computer aided instruction and even specially-printed playing cards.
In the United Kingdom, The Royal Observer Corps (ROC) was formed as a defence warning organisation with civilians trained in aircraft recognition and operated primarily as such between 1925 and 1957. Aircraft recognition was first developed between the First and Second World wars when aerial warfare was first recognised as a future threat, after 208 Zeppelin and 435 aircraft raids over London during the First World War. In 1917 Germany had started using fixed-wing bombers, and the number of airship raids diminished rapidly.
To answer this new threat, Major General Edward Bailey Ashmore, a First World War pilot who had later been in command of an artillery division in Belgium, was appointed to devise improved systems of detection, communication and control. The Metropolitan Observation Service was created, covering the London area, known as the London Air Defence Area, and was soon extended to the coasts of Kent and Essex. This led to the establishment of the Observer Corps in 1925.
In April 1942 the club initiated recognition proficiency tests, later adopted officially by the ROC, with three levels:
- • 3rd Class level (later renamed Basic level) – 50% correct
- • 2nd Class level (later renamed Intermediate level) – 70% correct
- • 1st Class level (later renamed Master level) – 90% or more correct**
Individual card size: 11 x 8.5 cm